20 Oktober 2014
The first MH-60R for RAN arrived in Australia (photo : Aus DoD)
Tempest fails to stop Romeo's entrance in Australia
Torrential rain and gale force winds failed to stop the delivery of the Royal Australian Navy's first MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' naval combat helicopter to HMAS Albatross, Nowra on 14 October.
The next-generation maritime combat helicopter was transported by Royal Australian Air Force C-17 heavy lift aircraft from the US Navy Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, where Royal Australian Navy aircrew have been building their operational experience alongside United States Navy Romeo squadrons.
Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro, who had tracked the progress of the Romeo since being party to discussions held about their purchase while on posting to Washington in 2006, was first on board the C-17 to inspect the new arrival.
"It is absolutely fantastic to welcome the newest member of the Fleet Air Arm to its new home," Commodore Di Pietro said.
The Romeos will fly as part of 725 Squadron and will provide ongoing anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine capability to the fleet. Carrying both Mk54 torpedos and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, it will be able to operate from Navy's Anzac Class frigates and the new Hobart Class air warfare destroyers.
Meanwhile the Nowra community can look forward to seeing them in the skies when the helicopter commences air trials next month.
A total of 24 Romeo variants are scheduled for delivery to the fleet in the future.